Four (or so) Questions to … Peter Gregson
Born in Edinburgh in 1987, Peter Gregson is a cellist and composer ‘working at the forefont of the new music scene’ (The New Yorker). Recently, he has premiered works by composers including Tod Machover, Daníel Bjarnason, Joby Talbot, Gabriel Prokofiev, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Steve Reich, Martin Suckling, Milton Mermikides, Howard Goodall, John Metcalfe, Scott Walker, and Sally Beamish. He collaborates regularly with world leading technologists, most recently including Microsoft Labs, UnitedVisualArtists and the MIT Media Lab.
1. Which work are you particularly proud of? Which work best represents your style or approach?
My most recent project, The Listening Machine, is something I’m really proud of. It is a data sonification for live chamber orchestra: it turns tweets of 500 UK users into live music, based on sentiment, topic and prosody of their words. It is a natively digital piece of music and was a really exciting collaboration between technologist Daniel Jones and myself as composer.
2. The theme of this year’s TYPO London is »Social«. Do you consider design to be a social discipline? Which design project do you consider to be particularly socially relevant?
I’m not a designer, really… but as a musician, I believe our work is only relevant if it means something to people, if it resonates within a community of people. In the past few years »Social« has been hi-jacked to refer to something digital, but really we have to remember that it’s always about the people who make and the people who consume.
3. A conference like TYPO London is in itself an obvious example for a social event: what are you especially looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to being exposed to all the different ideas and insights from a different creative industry!
4. Required reading/watching: What are currently your favorite interesting/beautiful publications, exhibitions, books, movies and/or websites?
I also have an addiction to pretty much everything Phaidon produces.